Turi Simeti: shapes and light.
Turi Simeti is considered one of the great masters of Italian art of XXth and XXIst century. He played an active role in the Zero Movement, developed in Germany during the Sixties and based on the idea of a new beginning of the artistic experience, which want to break with past traditions, starting art from “zero”.
Simeti was born in Alcamo, a small town in the south of Italy, in 1929. Soon he moved to Rome, where he attended Alberto Burri’s studio: this experience led to his first production, working with different materials. During these years he was also in London, Paris and Basel, where he used to stay for long periods.
Simeti’s work consists of dynamic patterns of ovals on monochromatic surfaces of shaped canvases which can be considered codes in his minimalist aesthetic.
Turi Simeti, Venti ovali blu, 1966.
In 1965 he joined the group Zero Avantgarde, introduced in Milan for the first time by Lucio Fontana’s: the members claimed to introduce a new beginning in the art experience, far from any traditional rules, talking about a “zero zone” which meant “a zone of silence and pure possibilities”. They developed their artistic research thank to the support of science and new technological achievements, which brought them to the experimentation of new techniques and materials.
Light and movement were central points of their production.
Group Zero in Düsseldorf.
Simeti held his first personal exhibition at Galerie Wulfengasse in Klangenfurt in 1965.
Between 1966 to 1969 he was invited at the Residence as guest artist by Fairleigh Dickinson University and spent a long time in New York, where he set up a studio and produced many works, following his idea of aesthetic which was gradually defining.
Turi Simeti's private show, New York, 1968.
After being exposed in many Italian galleries, from the second half of the Sixties his works had great success in different cities in Europe, especially in Germany and Swizzerland: he created monochrome everted canvases which presented a single element, often decentralized. Simeti experimented different formats and outlines, in a combination of colours and shapes that emphasised the physical presence of the artwork itself, achieving the idea of a spatial complexity during the Eighties.
Turi Simeti, Un ovale bianco, 1968, acrylic on canvas, 100x70 cm
Un ovale bianco at Turi Simeti personal exhibition, Galleria Cadario, 1968, Milan.
In 1980 he started working in his new studio in Rio de Janeiro where he used to stay during the winter, exhibiting his works over the following years and obtaining great consent. His works were exposed in many private spaces all over the world.
Turi Simeti, Un ovale nero, 1986, acrylic on canvas, 120x160 cm
Back in Italy with a personal exhibition at Galleria Vismara, Milan, in 1989, he was soon compared to Enrico Castellani and Agostino Bonalumi: in this phase his works are characterized by the multiplication and dispersion of ellipses on the monochromatic surfaces painted with stronger colours.
Turi Simeti, Bianco, 1999.
In August 2010 he held an important anthological exhibition in his hometown.
He still lives and actively creates his works in Milan.
Turi Simeti’s works available for sale here